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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 16, 2010 8:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

There's some debate, actually, about how Pigpen would've fit into the Dead as the years went by... It's a little hard to imagine him in a 1973 show! Let alone on Blues for Allah... I think he would've found a place in the set, just maybe a smaller one. (And think of this - we were spared Lovelight duets with Donna! Oh the screeches we missed!)

I think we would've seen more original Pigpen songs rather than the same ol' blues covers. He had several promising new songs in '71/72, from rockers to ballads, so he could've kept going in that direction.
No Tomorrow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2R03IDGo3E

I'm not sure he would've had a career outside the Dead. He was working on his own album at some point, but of course didn't finish. (There's an interesting country-style outtake circulating from 1970 called I'm a Loving Man.) Unlike other members of the Dead, I can't recall him playing (or singing) with other groups at all - he was pretty much defined by the Dead, and they were his only forum.
People talk about Garcia burning himself out on multiple Dead tours in the '90s, but remember Pigpen was doing the same thing in '71/72; he just wouldn't leave the stage til he was too weak to tour. Could've been sitting at home like Mickey Hart; but the Dead was his life.

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Poster: Reade Date: Sep 18, 2010 9:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Speaking of Hart sitting at home during his early-70's leave-of-absence, and gaps in the GD narrative, is there any kind of interview or piece of research that definitively addresses this?
All I ever run across are loose, warmed over interpretations and recollections, and never from Hart himself. (For example McNally's book was a disappointment given this topic imo).
If what I'm talking about is out there and I've just missed it, I sure would love to be pointed in that direction.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 18, 2010 11:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

I've never looked up what Hart was doing, actually...never even read any memoirs from him. I'm sure the info's out there. His activities in those years probably are mentioned in McNally, it's just that McNally's book is so cluttered & disorganized & frequently vague, finding specific info is often hard!

Anyway, I'd guess Hart was still doing musical things, recording his own projects. The GD were recording some things with him still; he just wasn't playing shows with them.

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Poster: Reade Date: Sep 18, 2010 11:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Right. I know he was active in his barn-studio and such.
I just think it has never been formidably established why he left and in such an unusual way (one show into an east coast string of performances). Did something happen on that day? Was there difficulty with other parts of his life? I read once that he bolted and went to his parents house on Long Island and 'slept for a week.' But it's not like the band had been on an exhausting run of touring. They had had a characteristiclly light beginnig-of-the-calender-year performing schedule leading up to that run of greater NYC shows starting on 2/18/71.

I just don't understand why someone with access to band members hasn't (form what I can tell) ever sat down with the guy for ten minutes and discussed the issue. Especially people writing books about the band.
Who walks away from such a successful gig to spend years with little or nothing to show for it? (I know, I know, I'm sure there are example out there). But the fact of the matter is, like actors, most musicians spend their careers WISHING they could be involved in something so successful and meaningful.
Guys who up and walk away from such- that's interesting!
Somebody should ask him about it.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Sep 18, 2010 12:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

It HAS been written about, in a number of books including both McNally's and Scully's, among others.

It's pretty obvious as well, why Hart left the band! He was wracked with guilt and embarrassment about what his dad did...

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Poster: Reade Date: Sep 18, 2010 12:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Has he ever said as much?

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 18, 2010 1:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

"I didn't want to play, didn't want to go out on the road. Confused, unbalanced, I wanted to flee and hide, bury my head and cry. I stopped touring with the Grateful Dead in 1971 and went to ground at the Barn. ...

"The band didn't blame me for Lenny's thievery, they made that clear. They even kept paying me, treating my departure as a leave of absence that would end whenever I managed to pin to the ground the demons I was wrestling. Whenever I was ready I was welcome back.

"Three years would pass. Looking back it was like an atonement. having spent three years going deeper into volume and noise, I was now sentenced to three years of silence and noise - the noise of insects singing in the garden at night, the trees creaking in the wind. ...

"The heartbeat of the ranch was the pump - the gurgling throb of water... The longer I lived at the ranch the more I became attuned to the pump's song... In fact, one of my first attempt's at musical composition was a song built around the rhythm of the pump; it later received the title. 'The Greatest Story Ever Told'."

Mickey Hart, Drumming at the Edge of Magic

This post was modified by robthewordsmith on 2010-09-18 20:10:57

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Poster: advokat Date: Sep 18, 2010 1:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Hijack to wordsmith

http://www.archive.org/post/323185/sandinista-non-dead

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Poster: Reade Date: Sep 18, 2010 1:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Thank you. Never ran across that book.
EDIT: Or that article!

This post was modified by Reade on 2010-09-18 20:32:00

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Poster: advokat Date: Sep 18, 2010 1:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

http://www.dead.net/sites/deadbeta.rhino.com/files/images/19710902_0717.jpg

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Poster: leftwinger57 Date: Sep 18, 2010 3:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

after reading Phil's book it appears he felt so badly
that his father ripped off the band that he just had to walk out.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 18, 2010 6:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Oh yeah, why he left... Yes, that's been covered pretty much everywhere.
What interests me is the delayed reaction on Mickey's part... His dad stole their funds and bolted in Feb/March '70, but Mickey soldiered on til Feb '71, when the guilt suddenly became too much for him... So maybe there was a hidden second reason to leave that came up.
(Once Bill K was asked why Mickey left, and Bill just said there were complicated personal reasons and wouldn't discuss them, which seemed to me like maybe there was something else going on too, considering Lenny's a matter of public record.)

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Poster: Reade Date: Sep 19, 2010 6:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Exactly. It was the perhaps 'hidden second reason' I was groping for here.
I'm not sure you play the first of several consecutive Capitol Theatre gigs on 2/18... *then* bolt for Long Island ...'cause of something your Dad did a *year* earlier. Nor do you necessarilly need to sleep for a week as a result, etc. etc.

He refers to himself as 'unbalanced' at that time in the quote excerpted below from his Drumming on the Edge book, and that he was doing an 'atonement' while away. Add to this mix your Bill K anecdote (and interpretation of same) ... and I think I found what I was looking for. Or at least as much as is out there. Thank you.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 19, 2010 7:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

"We'll probably never know the true extent of the psychic damage Lenny's grand larceny had on his son, but it's probably not a coincidence that at the end of 1970 Mickey dropped out of the group for the next five years. 'Mickey was dismayed,' Garcia said. 'He's never expected anything like that, of course. He knew his father had been into shady trips before, but he thought he was reformed just like we all did. He was really shocked, and he was right with us about our decision to get rid of Lenny.'

"In retrospect, it's remarkable the Dead could keep their minds on playing music during this weird time, but as Mickey himself pointed out, the band's business problems were a distraction, 'only when we came off the road. Not when we were out there, certainly, because we were flyin'. When the music's going, all is well. When the music stops and you come home, that's when art meets reality.'"

Blair Jackson - Garcia: An American Life

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Sep 16, 2010 9:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Do you know when the effects of his drinking first began to make him ill ?
Is it me , or are there some large gaps in the official GD narrative about Pig in the last years of his life ?

edit - Pig is core GD to me . A sad and tragic man it seems .


This post was modified by micah6vs8 on 2010-09-17 04:06:35

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 16, 2010 9:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

1971 is when he first became really ill & had to stay in the hospital a while. Came as a big surprise to the others.
I would imagine he'd been showing some signs of decline before that...maybe well before that... But the GD family was probably not a group where you'd find too many voices of concern for someone's downhill slide. Part of the macho rock star thing, you know...

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Sep 17, 2010 6:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

thanks for all the info - it's interesting you say he'd have found a smaller place in the set, since so many people wish his influence had been more dominant.